Ad Partners, Devine Go Separate Ways

ATLANTA There’s a new ad agency in Florida following the split between two principals at Devine Communications.

Tony Ceresoli, former vice president and general manager of the independent St. Petersburg, Fla., shop, described the split with Barry Devine, founder and president of Devine Communications, as “amicable.” It was prompted by “different thoughts on how to grow the business,” Ceresoli said.

Ceresoli, who joined Devine 11 years ago, opened Ad Partners earlier this month. He has kept Devine Communications’ office space, 12 of the 16 staffers and all the shop’s accounts except Hungry Howie’s Pizza and Subs, which is valued at about $4 million.

“We’ve been operating as two separate agencies under one roof for years,” Ceresoli said. “Barry and his staff have been dedicated solely to Hungry Howie’s and my colleagues and I have served the rest of the agency’s clients. This is simply the final step toward being two independent ad agencies.”

Ad Partners began operations with five former clients of Devine: Sonny’s Bar-B-Q, a chain of barbecue restaurants; Amscot Financial, a Florida financial services company; Buddy’s Home Furnishings, an independent rent-to-own company; Crown Eurocars, a dealership that specializes in European sports and luxury cars; and Orange Blossom Groves. Since it opened, the shop has added the United Way of Tampa Bay to its list of clients. Ceresoli said he expects annual billings to reach at least $12 million in the first year.

Senior management at Ad Partners includes Glenn Arscott, former creative director at Devine who now is senior vice president and creative director; Amanda Atchley, former media director at Devine and now vice president and media director; and Darlene Levi, a recent addition, who is vice president and account director.